In the post-Slovakian era, the entire St. Louis Blues organization is
struggling mightily to succeed with an ever-evolving new identity. A system
once defined by speed and finesse with a European flare has been completely
overhauled over the past couple of years. General Manager Larry Pleau
sacrificed a fathom or two of the organization’s legendary depth in his
quest to assemble a squad capable of Stanley Cup success.
As an organization, the Blues have done an outstanding job in recent history
with player development, turning several marginal prospects into legitimate
NHLers. Although the knock against the system has been their failure to
produce a single legitimate superstar, they were working with some fairly
low draft positions. Jochen Hecht, Michal Handzus, Marty Reasoner, and
Ladislav Nagy were developed into good enough NHL players to be used as
trade bait in the acquisitions of superstar forwards Keith Tkachuk and Doug
Now, it would seem, the desired attribute is an intangible characteristic
known as “grit.” All hockey clichés aside, (standing up for a teammate,
never taking a shift off, taking your lumps to score a goal) in the grand
scheme things, grit is simply the willingness to do whatever it takes to win
the Stanley Cup.
There are several players currently in the system who seem to embody this
rather nebulous concept and thereby represent the visible future of the
Pepperpot center Eric Boguniecki, continues to light up AHL goaltenders,
maintaining a point-per-game pace and could certainly see a call- Read more»
Relegation game 2
07:47 BLR Kastsitsyn (Mialeshka, Siankevich) 0:1
10:04 BLR Mialeshka (Siankevich) 0:2
24:40 FRA Kevorkian (Bayon) 1:2
25:00 BLR Klimiankou (Nemirka, Grabovski) 1:3
35:23 FRA Albert (Brodin, Jestin) 2:3
Because of the French win in the first relegation game, the game went into a ten-minute
overtime. No goal was scored during that extra time so the penalty shots had to decide.
In an unprecendented series of 13 penalty shots Dmitri Mialeshka scored the series-winning
goal, saving team Belarus in the elite Group A of the WJC also for the next season.
Leaf Prospect Rankings Redux (Part I)
Half a hockey season is a long time when it comes to developing players between the ages of 18 and 23. As such it only makes sense to take another look at the Leaf prospect ladder now and see how the yung’uns are shaping up. Are they picking up the skills they’ll need to compete in the big show according to plan? Are some lagging behind? Are some leapfrogging others? Here’s the latest:
1. Mikael Tellqvist-G: Though Mike Minard has played the majority of minutes on The Rock this year, there are just too many positives in Tellqvist’s game to say that he will be anything but a starting goaltender in the NHL once he adjusts to the North American game. Will he be in the ACC by the end of the year? Will he be there to start the next one? Will he be there in 2003-2004? Who knows. When he does arrive though, it will be as more than someone to play one game in four.
2. Brad Boyes-C: His recent WJC performance on the heels of a bout of mononucleosis has only solidified his spot at the second rung and maybe even moved him closer to the top one. He showed the ability to lead the charge to the net in the tournament which was something that hadn’t been part of his game until then. Definitely has the mean streak needed to make up for his lack of size in the pros. Demonstrated some unbelievable hand-eye co-ordination and was equally comfortable as a playmaker and a finisher. Great in the faceoff dot.
3. Carlo Colaiacovo-D: One of the big leapers, the Erie blueliner was one of the best d Read more»